The penetration of mobile phones wasn’t fast enough in rural India during the early mobile days over a decade ago. However, the limited users of the handhelds were prompt enough to get carried away with the allurement of the web of free information. For them –long before they could figure out the technicalities of browsers –the gateway to connect with the universe was largely search engines especially Google. The iconic Google search --one of the classic examples of ‘humanisation of tech’, never ceased to entice its users all along. 

The scenario, however, has changed today. From an obtrusive shift in googling habit to domain-based search to an app culture, much has changed since then. People are more onto their apps than on web or online search. And the clear victim is Google. The universe of web –that people used to access primarily through Google Search, is gradually getting scrappy. The dark matter, which Google can’t crawl, index and present on search queries that users conduct, on the other side is gradually swelling at an astonishing pace. 

With 80% of the world information generated over the last two years alone, the web of crawlable information should have more diverse and democratic. However, the information entombed under social networks, single page architectures and most importantly the ever-growing apps is not only growing but also ushering in a new era where much of the information is getting locked for public access. 

With over four petabytes of data being generated by Facebook alone and over five lacs of new users joining the platform every day, the information appearing in search engine result pages (SERPs) isn’t in commensurate with the volume and variety of data being generated today. What happens when platforms such as Facebook and Twitter decide to be inaccessible to Search? After all, why would a reader conduct a web search when there is an app to do just that?

The threats to iconic Google Search

Dark Matter defeats the whole mission of Google which aims to put straight the world’s information and make it handy for everyone. On the flip side is the rise of domain-based search. 

The artificial intelligence team of Facebook has been working hard to ferret out the best search tactics for their platform. Lumos visual search system, developed by Facebook recently, can detect objects, scenes, animals, places, and clothes that appear in images or videos – and return relevant search results for users. 

With over 500 million tweets and 6,000 tweets every single second that are sent every single day, Twitter too has come up with several measures to filter out the noise and get the most relevant information you want. 

Forrester Research found that a third of online users started their product searches on Amazon, compared to 13 percent who started their search from a traditional search site. 

ComScore found that product searches on Amazon have grown 73 percent over the last year, while shopping searches on Google have been flat. Indeed, when it comes to search and overall web traffic referrals, Google is still the top referral source. 

Facebook is now the top referral source for digital publishers. All this translates to severe implications for Google which is increasingly failing to catch up with the change recently. 

The search behemoth makes hundreds of changes in its search algorithm to improve search results for 1.2 trillion searches per year globally. Ironically, some of its major search enhancements were directed towards promoting its own products . The search giant has bought millions of its own ads to display their products atop search results, over those of ad-buying customers. On the business side, too, Google Search revenue saw a decline for the first time in 2016. 

From the usability perspective, the nature of ‘online search’ has changed. But Google search per se is still stuck with Blue Links –despite initiatives such as Hummingbird and Knowledge Graph have been largely useful for users. 

The big fight to be the king of app search

Mobile search and YouTube are still driving Google’s growth and most these revenues derive from mobile. The mobile era is ruled by two giants –Apples’ iOS and Google’s Android. However, with Apple marking a move into web and app search, the big challenge ahead for Google is to prove its relevance in mobile search. 

Apple, which did a revenue sharing agreement with its rival in 2014 and received $1 Billion, is now trying to get more app results in their search tools. Google’s desperation showed up when it released a series of enhancements to embolden search for mobile, including in-App indexing. 

Between October 2013 --when the search giant released app indexing for a limited set of publishers, and August 2016, the company released over 13 enhancements to augment the visibility of app content in search. But is it enough for Google to survive in the app era? Probably not! 

The last words: Is it time to reimagine search?

Amit Singhal –the then chief of Google Search, in an interview with Recode said, ‘Google will not only survive the transition to mobile apps, but will thrive in it.’ However, the story looks different today with new approaches of search coming up.Jelly Search --created by Twitter co-founder Biz Stone and recently acquired by Pinterest, reimagines search as a social network which gets you answers from real people. 

When Google first launch semantic search, it was a major search breakthrough which was not only competent enough to decipher complex queries, it also helped users find the most relevant information. 

Can Google turn the tide for one more time before companies like Apple or any other disruptor makes a serious entry? Because ‘search’ will continue to flourish, even if there is no Google! 

Author : Mastufa Ahmed

Source : http://www.in.techradar.com/news/internet/web/whats-wrong-with-the-iconic-google-search/articleshow/57556216.cms

Categorized in Search Engine

With numerous high profile security breaches and hacks in the news, privacy and security are at top of mind for many. It's not just about emails either, all of your data is at risk including photos, text messages, files, and browser history. It's more important than ever to keep your personal data safe from would-be hackers and prying eyes. With many of us managing our lives via smartphone, that one device holds a lot of power and it's essential to stay on top of mobile security.

Here are mobile apps you should consider downloading in order to keep your communication, financial data, and other private information safe and secure. As always, it's important that you download these apps from a reputable source. I've linked to the Google Play Store below and included the company name so you can be confident that you're downloading the correct app if you choose another app store.

Messaging and Email

For the utmost security when texting and emailing, end-to-end encryption is key. This means that only the message sender and receiver can read the messages; not even the messaging company itself can decrypt them. With end-to-end encryption, you don't have to worry about private messages getting forwarded to other parties or law enforcement getting access to your data by subpoena. Your device is still susceptible to hack or theft though, so it's important to take other precautions such as installing a VPN (see the next section), keeping a close eye on your belongings, and using the Android Device Manager to track or brick your phone in case of loss or theft.

Signal Private Messenger by Open Whisper Systems

Signal Private Messenger was endorsed on Twitter by none other than Edward Snowden, which isn't a surprise considering it's a free app with no ads that uses end-to-end encryption to keep your personal messages and voice chats private. It doesn't even require an account; you can activate the app via text message.

Once you're set up, you can import the messages stored on your phone into the app. You can also use Signal to send unencrypted messages to non-Signal users, this way you don't have to toggle between apps. Likewise, you can make encrypted and unencrypted voice calls from Signal. Keep in mind that texts and calls made using Signal use data, so be mindful of your data limits and use Wi-Fi (with a VPN; see below) when possible.

Telegram by Telegram Messenger LLP

Telegram works similarly to Signal, but offers some extra features including stickers and GIFs. Like Signal, there are no ads in the apps and it's completely free. It differs in that you can use Telegram on multiple devices (though only one phone) and you can't send messages to non-Telegram users. All messages on Telegram are encrypted, but you can choose between messages that are stored in the cloud and those that are accessible only on the device that sent or received the messages. The latter is called Secret Chats, which can also be programmed to self-destruct.

Wickr Me – Secure Messenger by Wickr

Finally, Wickr Me also offers end-to-end encrypted text, video, and picture messaging, as well as voice chat. It also has a shredder feature that permanently removes all deleted messages, images, and video from your device.

Like Signal and Telegram, Wickr Me is free of cost and ads. Like Telegram, it also has stickers, as well as graffiti and photo filters.

ProtonMail – Encrypted Email by ProtonMail

An email service based in Switzerland, ProtonMail requires two passwords, one to log into your account and the other to encrypt and decrypt your messages. Encrypted data is stored on the company's servers, which are housed under 1,000 meters of granite rock in a bunker in Switzerland. The free version of ProtonMail includes 500 MB of storage and 150 messages per day. The ProtonPlus plan ($5/month or $48/year) bumps up the storage to 5 GB, and the message allotment to 300 per hour and 1000 per day while the ProtonMail Visionary plan ($30/month or $288/year) offers 20 GB of storage and unlimited messages.

Browsers and VPN

DuckDuckGo Search & Stories by DuckDuckGo

DuckDuckGo is a search engine with a mascot and a twist: it doesn't track your search activity or target ads to you based on your personal data. The downside to the search engine not collecting information about you is that the search results aren't as tailored as Google's. It comes down to customization versus privacy.

You can also enable Tor, a private browser, within DuckDuckgo. Tor protects your privacy by preventing websites from identifying your location and individuals from tracking the website you visit. However, you'll need an accompanying app, such as OrBot: Proxy with Tor by The Tor Project, to encrypt your Internet traffic.

Ghostery Privacy Browser by Ghostery

Ever notice something you searched for, such as a pair of sneakers, show up as an ad on another website? Ghostery helps you minimize access to your data by ad trackers and other tools. You can view all of the trackers on a website and block any with which you're not comfortable. It also lets you easily clear your cookies and cache and you can choose between eight different search engines including the aforementioned DuckDuckGo.

Avira Phantom VPN by AVIRA and NordVPN by NordVPN

If you use Wi-Fi often to save on data consumption, your security may be at risk. Open Wi-Fi connections, such as those offered at coffee shops and public places are vulnerable to hackers who can tunnel in and capture your private information. A Virtual Private Connection (VPN), such as Avira Phantom VPN and NordVPN, encrypts your connection and your location to keep snoops out. Both also enable you to choose a location so you can view content that's regionally restricted, such as a sporting event or TV show. Avira Phantom VPN offers up to 500 MB of data monthly and ups that to 1 GB if you register; you can get unlimited data for $10 per month. NordVPN is a paid app with unlimited data. There are three plan options: $11.95 for one month; $7 per month for six months; or $5.75 per month for one year. It offers a 30-day money back guarantee.

Adblock Browser for Android by Eyeo GmbH

While ads help many websites and apps pay the bills, they're often intrusive, covering over something you're trying to read or generally getting in the way of a good user experience. This can be especially frustrating on a smaller screen. Worse, some ads contain tracking or even malware. As with its desktop counterpart, you can choose to block all ads and whitelist sites you'd like to support.

Phone Calls

Hushed Anonymous Phone Number by AffinityClick Inc.

Is there anything more annoying than persistent calls from telemarketers? Unwanted calls can verge on harassment. The Hushed app lets you create disposable numbers anytime you're not comfortable sharing your digits; it's like having burner phones without having to buy an actual burner phone. It will also block your number from displaying on Caller ID. Hushed is a great tool to have when buying or selling things online, dating or any interactions with strangers, or when you sign up for a website that requires a phone number. Hushed is free for the first few days, after which you can sign up for a paid plan and either pay by the minute or opt for an unlimited plan.

Silent Phone – private calls by Silent Circle, Inc.

We've talked about encrypting your text messages, emails, and voice chats, but if you actually use your phone as a phone, you'll want to do the same for your calls. Silent Phone not only encrypts your phone calls, but it also offers secure file sharing and has a self-destruct feature for text messages. Unlimited calls and messaging are included in the $9.95 per month subscription.

Files and Apps

SpiderOakONE by SpiderOak, Inc.

Cloud storage is a huge convenience, but as with everything online, susceptible to hacks. SpiderOakONE touts itself as 100 percent zero knowledge, which means that your data is readable only by you. Other cloud storage services can read your data, which means if there's a data breach, your information is compromised. Plans start at $5 per month for 100 GB and top out at $12 per month for 1 TB. The company offers a 21-day trial and doesn't require a credit card on file so you don't have to worry about unwanted charges if you forget to cancel.

AppLock by DoMobile Lab

When you pass your phone around to share pictures or let your child play a game on it, you've probably had that sinking feeling that they might see something on there that you don't want them to. Applock lets you keep would-be snoops out by letting you lock apps with a password, PIN, pattern, or fingerprint. This also adds a layer of security if your phone is lost or stolen and someone is able to unlock it. You can also lock images and videos from your gallery app. It uses a random keyboard and invisible pattern lock so you can avoid giving away your password or pattern. You can also prevent others from killing or uninstalling AppLock. Foiled again! Applock has a free option that's ad-supported or you can pay to get rid of ads.

Author : Molly McLaughlin

Source : https://www.lifewire.com/privacy-and-security-apps-for-android-4116583

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Categorized in Internet Privacy

Android still tends to be the default platform although iOS versions are usually available after a short delay. The issue of platform support is more important that it might appear. Even if you don’t personally use an iPhone, say, the fact that your favoured contacts do will render any app that doesn’t support both platforms useless if the same app is needed at both ends. Some apps integrate with third-party applications, for instance email clients. That can be important for businesses – can the app support the preferred communications software used by an organisation and will it work across desktop as well as mobile? Some can, some can’t.

Not WhatsApp 

Facebook-owned WhatsApp is to incrementally introduce two-factor authentication to all of its users as an optional added layer of security.

Two-factor authentication essentially means verifying your identity twice – and in this case users will choose to access their account through a six-digit number. WhatsApp users will need to enable the feature through their settings and once switched on, the passcode will remain on the associated account, no matter which device it's being accessed through.

The feature first appeared in beta late last year, and the app will require users to enter the passcode about once every week. Users will be able to set up a backup email in case they forget the passcode.

It's unlikely to inspire enormous confidence in WhatsApp as a secure platform, but it is a small nod towards security for personal use.

Earlier this year, a Guardian report claimed that a security vulnerability in WhatsApp meant Facebook – WhatsApp’s parent company – could read encrypted messages sent through the service. Security researcher Tobias Boelter told the paper that WhatsApp is able to create new encryption keys for offline users, unknown to the sender or recipient, meaning that the company could generate new keys if it’s ordered to.

And although Facebook insists that it couldn’t read your WhatsApp messages even if it wanted to, critics have been suspicious since the buy – since Facebook’s entire platform depends on data and advertising, and its own Messenger service is infamously intrusive.

In terms of security, it’s important to distinguish pure secure messaging apps from apps that happen to have some security, for instance the hugely popular WhatsApp and SnapChat. Many use encryption but operate using insecure channels in which the keys are stored centrally and hide behind proprietary technologies that mask software weaknesses.

As it happens, earlier in 2015 Facebook’s WhatsApp started using the TextSecure platform (now called Signal – see below) from the Open Whisper Systems which improves security by using true end-to-end encryption with perfect forward secrecy (PFS). This means the keys used to scramble communication can’t be captured through a server and no single key gives access to past messages. It was presumably this sort of innovation that so upset British Prime Minister David Cameron when in early 2015 he started making thinly-veiled references to the difficulty security services were having in getting round the message encryption being used by intelligence targets.

In April 2016, the Signal protocol was rolled out as a mandatory upgrade to all WhatsApp users across all mobile platforms, an important moment for a technology that has spent years on the fringes. At a stroke it also made Open Whisper Systems the most widely used encryption platform on earth, albeit one largely used transparently without the user realising it.

It's fair to say that police and intelligence services are now worried about the improved security on offer from these apps, which risks making them favoured software for terrorists and criminals. That said, they are not impregnable. Using competent encryption secures the communication channel but does not necessarily secure the device itself. There are other ways to sniff communications than breaking encryption.

Most recent apps will, in addition to messaging, usually any combination of video, voice, IM, file exchange, and sometimes (though with a lot more difficulty because mobile networks work differently) SMS and MMS messaging. An interesting theme is the way that apps in this feature often share underlying open source technologies although this doesn’t mean that the apps are identical to one another. The user interface and additional security features will still vary.

For further background, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) published a comparison in 2014 of the of the sometimes confusing levels of security on offer from the growing population of apps on the market. All mobile messaging apps claim to use good security but this is a useful reminder that definitions of what ‘secure’ actually means are starting to change.

The future? There are two trends to watch out for. First, business-class secure messaging systems have started to appear, including ones that operate as services or using centralised enterprise control. A second and intriguing direction is the morphiing of static messaging apps into complete broadcasting systems that can distribute different types of content and then erase all traces of this activity once it has been read. This latter capability is likely to prove another contentious development for governments and the police. 

Best secure mobile messaging apps - Signal 

Signal (formerly TextSecure Private Messenger) is arguably the pioneering secure mobile messaging platform that kickstarted the whole sector. Originally created by Moxie Marlinspike and Trevor Perrin’s Whisper Systems, the firm was sold to Twitter in 2011, at which point things looked uncertain. In 2013, however, TextSecure re-emerged as an open source project under the auspices of a new company, Open Whisper Systems since when it and has gained endorsements from figures such as Bruce Schneier and Edward Snowden.

We call it a platform because Signal is more than an app, which is simply the piece that sits on the Android or iOS device and which holds encryption keys. The App itself can be used to send and receive secure instant messages and attachments, set up voice calls, and has a convenient group messaging function. It is also possible to use Signal as the default SMS app but this no longer uses encryption for a host of practical and security reasons.

Signal was designed as an independent end-to-end platform that transports messages across its own data infrastructure rather than, as in the past, Google’s Google Cloud Messaging (GCM) network. The Axolotl protocol underlying the platform’s security is also used by G Data (see below) as well as Facebook’s WhatsApp, which isn’t to say that Facebook’s implementation won’t have other vulnerabilities – as ever use with care.

Using the app is pretty straightforward. Installation begins with the phone number verification after which the software will function standalone or as the default SMS messaging app after offering to import existing texts. The most secure way to use it is probably as the default messaging app, so that an insecure message doesn’t get sent by accident.

Interestingly, Signal just launched encrypted video calls, stepping up its current level of encryption. The app previously supported voice call end-to-end encryption but this update will ensure video capabilities hold the same level of security as its chat functionality.

Additional security features include an app password and with a blocker that stops screen scraping. It is also possible to control what types of data are exchanged over Wi-Fi and mobile data. Obviously both sender and receiver need to have the app installed, which worked simply by entering the phone number of any other registered user.

Security: based on OTR protocol, uses AES-256, Curve25519 and HMAC-SHA256; voice security (formerly RedPhone app) based on ZRTP

Pro: Android and iOS, handles voice as well as messaging, Edward Snowden said to use this app

Con: None although service reportedly not always the fastest

Next: Secure Chat

Best secure mobile messaging apps - G Data Secure Chat

Built on Whisper Systems’ open source Axolotl protocol (see above), the recently-launched Secure Chat is a well-designed free app with the drawback of being Android only for the time being. Despite its open source underpinnings, the app won’t operate securely with anything other than another Secure Chat app at the other end.

The app sets out to replace your existing messaging and texting apps, offering to import and encrypt existing messaging data for safe keeping. As with Signal, enrolling users (including in groups) happens by firing up the app and performing number verification for each account. One feature we liked about the app was the simple way users could switch between secure chat (free messaging across secure infrastructure), secure SMS (across carrier infrastructure at the user’s cost) and insecure SMS. Conventional phone calls can also be launched from inside the app – this really does aim to replace the communication functions in one go although it can also be used more occasionally for the odd message if that is preferable.

So that receivers can be sure that a message comes from the genuine contact, the app provides a QR ‘verify identity’ code which the other contact can scan (they san yours, you scan theirs). What happens if the users are far apart from one another? We’re not sure.

The app blocks screen scraping by external apps and can be secured behind a password. One interesting feature is self-destructing messages activated by clicking a small icon on the composition screen, which open on the receiver’s phone with a countdown timer of up to 6- seconds after which each is deleted. The user can also have hidden contacts that are accessed with a password.

Security: Not disclosed but will be similar to Signal, Germany-based servers


Pro: incredibly easy to set up and use – very similar to Signal but lacks the voice support that has now been added to that product

Con: none really although this is oriented towards messaging only

Next: Telegram

Best secure mobile messaging apps - Telegram

Launched by two Germany-based brothers in 2013 Telegram’s distinctiveness is its multi-platform support, including not only and Android and iPhone but Windows Phone as well as Windows OS X and even Linux. With the ability to handle a wide range of attachments, it looks more like a cloud messaging system replacing email as well as secure messaging for groups up to 200 users with unlimited broadcasting.

There are some important differences between Telegram and the other apps covered here, starting with the fact that users are discoverable by user name and not only number. This means that contacts don’t ever have to know a phone number when using Telegram, a mode of communication closer to a social network. The platform is also open to abuse, if that's the correct term, including reportedly being used by jihadists for propaganda purposes, which exploit its broadcasting capablity. This is not the fault of the developer but does bring home how such apps can be mis-used in ways that are difficult to control.  

The sign up asks for an optional user name in addition to the account mobile number, and requires the user verify the number by receiving and entering an SMS code. The app is polite enough to ask for access to the user’s phone book and other data, which can be refused, and handily notices which contacts within that list already have signed up for the app.

Security: uses the MTProto protocol, 256-bit symmetric AES encryption, RSA 2048 encryption and Diffie–Hellman secure key exchange

Pro: multi-platform support including desktop computers, access files from anywhere

Con: More a cloud platform than an app, also reportedly been abused by violent jihadists which could spell an image problem for the app

Next: Ceerus

Best secure mobile messaging apps - Ceerus

Ceerus is a new secure Android voice, video and messaging app from UK startup SQR Systems, one of a small group of mostly early-stage firms of that participated in the Cyber London accelerator, separately covered by Techworld. This makes the app sound immature but its origins go back to the company’s origins in 2010 as a University of Bristol research project funded by the UK Ministry of Defence.

Designed to secure voice and video as well as messaging, Ceerus is a step up in from some of the free apps looked here in that it can scale to departmental, enterprise, and government use and can cite a British defence giant as a trial customer. It costs £10 ($15) per month after a free trial period of one month has expired which implies a different level of development and support.

We encountered a hiccup getting it running on one of our test smartphones, a Nexus 5 running Android 6.0, so will have to report back when we’ve done full end-to-end testing.

Features: enrolment is more involved than for a free app because the user is setting up a fully account - a name and password (not easy to reset for the time being so don’t forget it) is required for each SIM/number. Key exchange uses the UK CESG-approved Mikey-Sakke scheme with compression applied to banish latency issues that have plagued encrypted real-time communications from mobile devices. An API is also available to allow integration of the underlying technology with third-party applications.

Security: undisclosed but includes end-to-end encryption with perfect forward secrecy

Pro: designed for business users, adds compression, handles video and voice as well as messaging

Con: aimed at businesses rather than individuals, no iOS version yet which could be an issue in mixed environments, not yet compatible with Android 6.0

Next: Pryvate 

Best secure mobile messaging apps - Pryvate

Launched in November 2015, Cryptique’s Pryvate is intended for use by businesses as competition for high-end mobile security such as the Blackphone/Silent Circle which embeds software inside a secured version of Android. As with that service, Pryvate is another do-it-all voice, video, messaging, IM, secure file transfer, and secure storage app (integrating with Dropbox, One drive, BOX) and will integrate with third-party email clients for added convenience.

On the subject of Silent Circle, the underlying voice and IM protocol used by Pryvate is Phil Zimmermann’s ZRTP perfect forward secrecy encryption. Other features is IP shielding whereby uses can bypass VoIP and IM blocking without giving away their real IP address – the app tunnels across the Internet using Pryvate’s own UK Jersey-based servers.

The mobile service costs £4.68 (about $7) per month as a subscription but can be used after the one-month trial in the form of PryvateLite, which allows full secure IM and picture sharing with unlimited phone calls up to a duration of 1 minute. We’re not sure how practical that would be to use but it’s an option. A version including desktop capability is available for $9.99 (about $14) per month.

We weren’t able to organise a subscription in time for this article but will test this app more thoroughly in future and update this feature.

Security: 4096-bit encryption, with AES 256-bit key management. Complex mini PKI design with perfect forward secrecy design.

Source: http://www.techworld.com/security/best-secure-mobile-messaging-apps-3629914/6/

Categorized in Internet Privacy

If you’ve ever tried to build classic flat pack furniture without that special screwdriver, you know how important the right tool can be. For social media managers, knowing the right tools and the best apps can make all the difference between a successful campaign and a mediocre one.

With countless new apps being launched every day, it can be hard to know which ones are worth using. To help you with that, we’ve compiled a list of our favorites below. Tap a name to jump to the description or continue reading for the complete rundown.

Top social media apps for marketers

1. Pyrus

2. Bear

3. Pocket Casts

4. Hootsuite Enhance

5. DuoBook

6. Headspace

7. Boxer Pro

8. Into

9. Daycap

10. Confide


Free on the App Store
Coming soon to Android

You can’t afford an inefficient workflow when you’re managing a team. Pyrus makes sure you don’t have to.

The Pyrus app is a team communication tool for real-time messaging, task delegation, and approval flows. It keeps you updated on your team’s tasks and progress with an integrated search feature.

The Pyrus app allows for increased collaboration with chat and quick file-sharing. If you’re on the go and without internet access, Pyrus enables offline functionality. For social media managers this means the most streamlined processes yet.  


Free on the App Store
Free for Mac

You never know when your next content idea will strike, but with Bear at least you know you’ll have a place to keep it. Bear is an intuitive and aesthetically pleasing writing and note-taking app that will also help keep you organized.

You can hashtag your notes and content to link them together and easily find them in the future. Bear’s Advanced Markup Editor allows for clear editing and sharing options so you can collaborate easily across teams. 

Pocket Casts

$5.99 on the App Store 
$3.99 on Google Play

Podcasts are a go-to source of information for many social media marketers. But with so many great options, it can be a struggle to find and keep track of all the great programs out there. Thankfully, Pocket Casts exists. The app has been called the best podcast app for both iPhones and Android devices—and for good reason.

The Pocket Casts database includes any podcast you could ever want, with over 300,000 unique shows. These are sorted by featured, trending, and most popular, so you can easily find something new.

With advanced playback features, you can trim silence and add volume boost to help reduce background noise. Other features like intuitive queues and syncing options make Pocket Cast a must-have.

Hootsuite Enhance

Free on the App Store

Instead of cluttering your smartphone with a different app for every function, choose an all-in-one solution for your visuals. Hootsuite Enhance lets you source stock images from a comprehensive library, edit these images with quality tools, and share the images to your social media networks.

Time is money for social media managers, and Hootsuite Enhance saves you both (did we mention it was free to download?). 


Free on the App Store

Most of the social media managers I know have multiple books on the go at any given time. If you struggle with focusing on and completing one book, the DuoBook app can help.

DuoBook saves your place and lets you easily switch between reading an eBook and listening to an audiobook. If you get sick reading in a moving vehicle or are driving, the audiobook format lets you catch up on your book—perfect for social media managers on the go. 


Free on the App Store
Free on Google Play

Social media never sleeps. If you’re a social media manager, you know this better than anyone. The expectation to be “on” at all times can lead to burnout, stress, and an unhealthy work-life balance. The Headspace app works to quiet the mind and sharpen your focus with guided mindfulness meditation.

With Headspace, busy social media managers can choose how long they want their sessions to be.

Boxer Pro

Free on the App Store
Free on Google Play

If “Inbox Zero” is your goal, Boxer Pro is the app for you. The innovative email, calendar, and contact manager helps you tackle your inbox more efficiently.

Busy social media managers can take advantage of features like “Quick Replies” to set and send canned responses. The “Email Like” feature will save you even more time, allowing you to quickly acknowledge a sender’s message when it doesn’t require a more thorough response.

With customizable features like the ability to specify your swipe gestures (to complete functions such as delete, archive, spam, etc.), Boxer Pro sets itself apart from the email client crowd. 


Free on the App Store

Endorsements and partnerships with influencers allow you to reach new networks and a broader audience. But finding these influencers can be difficult.

The Into app helps solve this problem by connecting businesses and brands with agency-represented influencers that include popular bloggers, social media industry leaders, celebrities, and models.

Influencers themselves can use the app to discover endorsement and sponsorship opportunities in their area. 


Free on the App Store

Coming up with new content every day is a common challenge for social media managers. The Daycap app provides a fresh way to generate engaging visual posts. Daycap creates a GIF of the photos you’ve taken over the course of a day.

You can then add locations to your GIFs, and easily share them to Instagram. Use Daycap to create and share GIFs of behind the scenes content, event highlights, and employee profiles. 


Free on the App Store
Free on Google Play
Free for Mac and Windows

Messaging apps are must-have tools for many social media managers, but sometimes security and privacy are overlooked.

The Confide app provides end-to-end, military-grade encryption along with disappearing and screenshot-protected messages.

While Snapchat users have found ways to get around the screenshot issue (such as taking a photo of a Snap with another device), Confide’s patent-pending reading experience unveils only a sliver of each message at a time and ensures the sender’s name is not visible.

The right tools can make the job of a social media manager much easier. Better processes and greater efficiency lend more time to working on what matters—creating engaging content and building online communities.

Author : Dara Fontein

Source : https://blog.hootsuite.com/best-social-media-apps-list/

Categorized in Social

Serious about landing your dream job this year? Or at least, landing a more fulfilling and higher paying job than the one you’re in now?

If you said, Yes, then let’s do it! My last article in Huffington Post,2017 Highest Paying Jobs, Best Companies and Fastest Growing Industries, has been helping many of you identify the best job role, companies and industries where you to work.

In this article, I’m focusing on where to find your dream job.

As you probably know, it can be daunting navigating through a bazillion career websites, job boards and niche communities touting the latest and greatest job openings. As a leading career coach, I even get overwhelmed! Never-the-less, every year I conduct loads of online research and capture the lessons learned and best practices from my clients to create a list of my favorite (and what, I believe, are some of the most effective and best) career apps and websites to help you find your dream job.

Where can you find your dream job?

1. Glassdoor - In my opinion, Glassdoor is the best place to start your job search. It has tons of new jobs added every day, and allows you to search by job title, key responsibilities, company or location. Plus, it provides employee reviews on company culture, senior leaders and salary information to give you a leg up on negotiating your salary. Simply sign up (it’s free!) and you have a bucket load of research and reference materials at your fingertips.Reviews.com said it best, “Glassdoor gives you both the info you need to find job opportunities and the context to see if it’s a good fit for you too.”

2. Indeed - The majority of my clients get hired off of Indeed. This is a Google-like search engine for jobs and one of the most efficient sites for surveying listings, since it aggregates information from job boards, news sites and company listings. An advanced search function provides a few more filters than Glassdoor, and allows you to drill down on a location, keyword and salary range. Indeed says it has 200 million unique visitors month and is available in 60 countries and 28 languages.

3. LinkedIn - Recruiters and hiring managers love this site. A 2015 Recruiter Nation report by Jobvite shows that 87% of recruiters are using LinkedIn (the most popular social media networking site for recruiters) to seek out job candidates. You can post a free profile so that recruiters can check you out. Another key advantage is that LinkedIn allows you to search for jobs and then shows those in your network who are currently working, or have worked, inside that organization. This makes it easier for you to find (and hopefully get) referrals which is the #1 way job candidates land a job!

Search job openings on LinkedIn by going to your home page and clicking the “jobs” tab towards the top of the page. You can search by job title, keyword, company, or use the advanced search to include additional criteria. Be sure to scroll down to view job openings and companies hiring, as well as those in your network who have worked inside those organizations. For more tips, I love this article by Pamela Vaughan,35 LinkedIn Tips for Professional Networking, Business and Marketing.

Niche job sites...

SmartRecruiters.com reports that 62-percent of jobs are posted on niche job boards. Do yourself a favor and invest some time researching theirBest 50 Niche Job Boards list. Be sure to bookmark those sites with jobs that most closely align to your skills, passions and career goals.

For example,The Ladders features executive and management jobs that pay $80,000 and above salaries. This site also has a nifty Resume Reviewer which can analyze your resume for key words, grammar and any missing information.

If you want to land a job in STEM (science, technology, engineering or math), then bookmark Dice. If you want to find jobs in journalism, P.R. or social media then try Media Bistro. If you’d like to work for a non-profit organization in the U.S. then bookmark Idealist. Or, if you’re a student or young professional, check outInternships for global organizations with paid internships.

Freelance gigs...

  • Want to earn some extra cash or have more freedom and flexibility in your career? You can become a freelancer or consultant by posting your skills and experience on these sites and then sit back and let the jobs come to you!
  • Accenture has been on Fortune’s “100 Best Companies to Work For” list for the past 8 consecutive years as a Fortune Global 500 company that provides strategy, consulting, digital, technology and operations services. Check out Accenture Consulting and Forbes review Accenture’s Management Consulting Division.
  • Freelancer has posted almost 11 million freelancing jobs to date worth $3+ billion in 600 categories including website development, mobile apps, software architecture, internet marketing, and more.
  • UpWork says it posts 3 million part-time, short-term and freelance gigs annually worth $1 billion. For designers, creatives, programmers, developers, and a variety of other business services skills.
  • OnForce specializes in IT, OEM & POS support, as well as consume electronic installation and repairs.

Other sites that can put some cash in your pocket include: Uber, SnagaJob, TaskRabbit, and Postmates. These sites offer marketplaces for anyone wanting to get hired as a driver, mover, courier, cleaner and basic chore-doer.

Tip - the career apps and websites listed above are great resources to help you find your next job. I recommend creating a job search agent on those sites you like so that you’ll spend less time searching and more time receiving instant notifications of jobs that interest you.

In future articles, I’ll share my favorite resources and tips to help you land your dream job by getting more job leads, referrals and recommendations, as well as how to create a stellar resume and how to nail your job interviews. But for now, I hope this article helps you get one step closer to landing your dream job.

Author : Sherri Thomas

Source : http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sherri-thomas/2017-best-career-apps-web_b_14626898.html

Categorized in Internet Technology

Google's got a lot of apps. Maybe even too many, in certain (ahem) cases.

Amidst all the obvious titles and oddly overlapping offerings, though, Google's wing of the Play Store holds some genuinely useful treasures -- clever creations by the creator of Android that are just waiting to be discovered.

Here are eight off-the-beaten-path Google apps that'll help you do all sorts of interesting things with your Android device. And yes, they're all free. (Some, but not all, are also available for iOS.)

1. Google Handwriting Input

Ever feel like scribbling something out on your smartphone's display? Google Handwriting Input gives you a blank slate for writing -- with your finger or a stylus -- and then converts your illegible chicken scratch into actual sendable text. It works surprisingly well, and it can even handle emojis (if you for some reason are inspired to draw those).

Google Android Apps: Handwriting Inputjr

The best part about Handwriting Input is that it works, erm, hand-in-hand with Google's regular, fully-featured Gboard keyboard: Once you install and activate the app on your phone, you'll see a new globe-like icon in Gboard's bottom row. All you've gotta do is tap it to toggle back and forth between regular QWERTY typing and your new handwriting input option.

2. Trusted Contacts

This so-new-it-still-has-that-new-app-smell tool is one of those things that's so practical, you'll wonder why your phone hasn't always had it.

Trusted Contacts lets you establish location-sharing relationships with your friends, family members, or anyone else you know and love (or maybe just kinda-sorta like). Once both people have installed the app and approved the relationship, either person has the ability to request the other's location at any time. If the recipient doesn't respond after five minutes, his last known location will automatically be sent. And it works even if his phone is off or out of range.

Peace of mind has never been easier.

[ To comment on this story, visit JR's Google+ page. ]

3. Google Trips

Organizing travel can be a pain -- but if you're already using Gmail, Google's new-ish Google Trips app makes everything super simple.

Trips automatically finds and imports all your travel info as it arrives in your inbox -- travel reservations, hotel reservations, and any other related confirmations -- and bundles it all together into neatly organized trip-based portfolios. It even adds in extra little goodies like suggestions for nearby attractions, popular (and customizable) day plans, and restaurant recommendations.

Google Android Apps: Google Tripsjr

Oh -- and once your data's pulled over, everything works offline.

4. Google Arts & Culture

Hang onto this one for your next dull or dreary day: Google Arts & Culture lets you explore national parks and monuments, zoom up close into famous works of art, and even take virtual tours of entire museums right from your mobile device.

Google Android Apps: Google Arts and Culturejr

The app is just jam-packed with cool views of fascinating things from around the world, and it's something you really have to experience for yourself. (Bonus: If VR is your cup of tea, there's a separate VR version of the app that works with compatible headsets.)

5. Chrome Remote Desktop

Chrome Remote Desktop is one of Google's most powerful cross-platforms tools -- and yet it doesn't get nearly enough attention. The app makes it dead-simple to remotely access any desktop computer from your Android phone. All you do is install the companion desktop Chrome extension, set up a PIN, and that's it: You can pull up your desktop on demand and access files, open programs, or do anything else you need from the palm of your hand.

6. Google Opinion Rewards

I've mentioned Opinion Rewards several times over the years, but it's still something most typical users aren't aware of. If you're among those not yet using it, start now -- because it's basically just a way to get free Google Play Store credit for taking the occasional quick survey.

The app will notify you whenever a new survey's available. You answer a handful of questions about a recent shopping experience or your thoughts on some type of merchandise, and then the app puts a credit on your Play Store account. It might be for 10 cents or it might be for a dollar. Either way, it takes practically no time to do, and the credits add up fast -- meaning your next app purchase or movie rental can be on the house.

7. Android Auto

Google revamped its Android Auto app a few months ago and made it into something anyone who drives should have standing by. The new Auto app is basically a "car mode" for your phone -- an interface that's optimized for driving, with large buttons for commonly used commands and simplified access to the sort of stuff you might need while behind the wheel. (And yes, longtime Android fans, that should sound familiar.)

Google Android Apps: Google Autojr

8. Wallpapers

This last selection is actually the app that controls wallpaper-picking for Google's new Pixel phone -- but if you have any other device, you can think of it as an upgrade to your system's built-in wallpaper picker. The aptly named Wallpapers makes finding a background for your home screen a fun adventure, with options for selecting stunning images from sources like Google Earth or the photographer-favored galleries of Google+.

The best part is that all of Wallpapers' categories -- Earth, Landscapes, Cityscapes, and so on -- include a "Daily wallpaper" option that'll automatically change your background to a different purty image every single day.

Google Android Apps: Wallpapersjr

My, oh my, things are suddenly lookin' good.

Author : JR Raphael

Source : https://www.yahoo.com/tech/m/66d2c1bf-b56b-3ed9-b3f9-c8ff778aca53/ss_8-useful-google-apps-you.html

Categorized in Search Engine

Google has been consistent with its updates for its Allo messaging app since its release last year and the search giant has now added another interesting feature to the app in the form of a new chatbot called "Lucky". While the name might remind you of Google's search engine's "I'm feeling lucky" option, the chatbot has an entirely different functionality - finding GIF images.

Google Allo's new chat bot essentially provides users with GIF images based on their requirements and works similar to Giphy support from Slack, as pointed out in a Google Plus post by Phandroid's Derek Ross. In order to get help from the chat bot, users need to simply type @lucky in the app followed by whatever phrase they want.

For example, if you type @lucky I love you, the chat bot will suggest you with a GIF filled with hearts, as can be seen from the image shared by Derek Ross (below).

allo lucky googleplus derekross Allo

Photo Credit: Image via Google+/DerekRoss

It is unclear if the latest version of Allo is necessarily required for the chatbot but you can either wait for the update to roll out or choose to grab the APK file from APKMirror over here, shared by 9to5Google in its report. The feature has reportedly shown up only for select users as of now.

In another piece of news from the search giant, Google has tweaked the way contacts are displayed inside its Hangouts app on Android. With version 16.0 update, the dedicated contacts list inside the app is not available anymore. The contact list has essentially been divided into those who are available on Hangouts and those who are not. The company claims that the update makes it "easier to find the right contacts quickly." Apart from this, the update also carries bug fixes and improvements.

Hangouts version 16.0 update is already available and can be downloaded from Google Play.

Author : Shekhar Thakran

Source : http://gadgets.ndtv.com/apps/news/google-allos-lucky-chatbot-suggests-gif-images-based-on-keywords-1653157

Categorized in Search Engine

Google announced that their new Android search app lets you do searches even when you are offline or have a bad internet connection. What happens is, you search, Google tells you the internet is not working and will try later. When the internet comes back, it will send you a notification that your search results are now ready and you can click on the notification to get the results.

Supposedly it doesn't use up more data or battery - so it is a smooth solution.

Here is a GIF of it in action:

Another reason native apps have a purpose.

Forum discussion at Google+.

Author : Barry Schwartz

Source : https://www.seroundtable.com/google-android-app-offline-search-23278.html

Categorized in Online Research

All leaders running smaller teams need to figure out new methods for making their group work efficiently, and without any clutter. I have witnessed many people make a crucial mistake, thinking “well, I’m running a small business” and they figure that this somehow makes the whole issues simple and easy.

Yes, the projects might be smaller, there might be less resources involved, and the team of people you lead might not be so large, but this doesn’t mean that there are aren’t things you can do to get the most out of what you have at your disposal.

Some small investments any small business organization can afford is to implement powerful apps that can help improve the performance of the whole business. Apps are small solutions that can give great results, especially when it comes to organizing people to work better. Productivity is an essential factor in business today, especially for a small organization and you should look to improve your team in this area.

Luckily, if you have a lot of millennials working for you, they will embrace this solution almost instantly. However, it is important to know which apps to use and how to use them. Here are some of the apps I feel could make a big difference concerning a team’s overall productivity; some of them are for collaboration, some of them are for individual needs.

1. Toggl


Time is one of the most important assets when it comes to being productive. If you don’t find a way to learn how much of your time is going to waste and where, you won’t be able to improve your efficiency.

With Toggl, time tracking has never been easier, as you can track pretty much anything easily with this highly user-friendly app. If you supply your team with this app, they will be able to organize themselves better and see where they need to improve.

It’s not uncommon that a person thinks he or she is doing something pretty well, but after they realize just how much time they need to do it, they see that they got overconfident and that they need improving. With this app, it’s possible to generate and share reports no matter if you need them, or if some client wants insights about the work you did for him or her.x

2. RescueTime


One of the biggest productivity killers are distractions such as online surfing, online shopping, games, social networks, and pretty much everything on the web. People easily get sucked in, and they get carried away, losing a lot of valuable time.

RescueTime is an app that measures how much time you or your employees have wasted on these distractions. This is how all of you can see where you are wasting your time and make a conscious effort to remove these bad habits.

This is what the free package offers, additionally if your get the premium version of RescueTime you will get a feature that allows you to easily track an employee’s activity offline, and the ability to block sites that you consider counter-productive.

Additionally, you can set the app to notify you when you overdid it, and that it’s time to stop messing around and go back to work because let’s face it, short breaks can be good for refreshing your mind and continuing to work efficiently.

3. Evernote


This is truly an evergreen app and there are so many teams that depend on it for a reason. This is a very effective and versatile tool, and it can be used by anyone, no matter what their role is, or the amount of obligations that person has during one day. For example, if someone has a day filled with negotiations, presentations, meetings, and other similar things, Evernote can help you organize all of these things and keep them in mind.

With this app a person can schedule daily tasks and oversee them so that he or she doesn’t forget about anything that needs to be done during the day. All of the tasks, schedule lists or to-do lists can be stored and managed in one clear place.

Additionally, apart from tracking your tasks, you can also use Evernote to memorize your ideas and store them as well. There are many times when I’m quite busy, but something good pops into my mind, and instead of colliding these two I save my idea for later, when I have the time to focus on it.

4. AwayFind

If your whole team needs to rely on emails and communicate this way each day, than AwayFind is the app you should give them. AwayFind is an app meant for people who truly care about how they use their time. People who are looking to fully optimize their time at work will love it, especially because it makes messy mail turn into a highly organized hierarchy without any clutter. With this app you can filter your email in so many ways and organize it as you like.

You can block all the spam and all the email messages that don’t matter to you and mark those important things as you see fit. When something that you marked as important is active you will be notified to check your email. A lot of people stopped using email because it has become so exhausting with a lot of things piling on, but with this tool you can remove everything irrelevant and filter it to be neat and efficient.

5. Expensify


Some of the hardest tasks all smaller teams need to handle is to learn how to manage and calculate all of their expenses without wasting too much time. This can be a difficult task even for people who have experience in doing this, as it is easy to get lost and confused amongst so much data. If you want your employees to be productive in giving you correct and organized expense reports, then empower them with Expensify.

This powerful app allows a user to track business mileage and all of the expenses with a single button. Additional, this app allows users to scan all of the bills they make and upload them and send them to you, so that you have insight into how much they are spending and on what.

They won’t have to take out a ton of their time for the purpose of calculating all of their expenses, as they can do it on the spot, and all the data is stored in a safe place. No mistakes and no lost time equals better productivity overall.

6. Google Drive

One of the best apps for online collaboration that you can use to improve the productivity of your team is Google Drive. Instead of sharing valuable documents using a flash drive or, even worse, CDs, the whole thing could work a lot better if your employees have a cloud storage platform where they can upload, share, collaborate on, or change important documents.

This is what your team will be able to do if you give them Google Drive. People can even access the cloud from their home and perform any urgent actions if needed.

7. Slack


This app is a modern communication tool and you can look at it as some internet chat room which has isolated the need for any other communication channels such as emails or social networks. If your whole team has this app, they can easily log in so that they can communicate amongst themselves by using private groups or public channels.

They can also share files and collaborate on assignments. This app is so amazing because it can easily be integrated with other services and apps, and there are many business organizations that use it as a command center through which all of their work flows. You can streamline a large portion of your business processes through Slack and organize your employees in a better way.


This is an innovative app that uses ring back tone technology when a person receives calls when he or she is in the middle of some important work and cannot answer. This app also includes features such as automatic SMS reply that allows you to respond to both incoming text messages and calls. It is possible to customize SMS responses and voice messages based on the context of the message or location of the person calling you or sending you a message. This is a great app that helps people stay focused on the current important tasks, and avoid being distracted by their phones. Not only this, but they will also feel like they haven’t lost or missed anything.

9. Boomerang


Boomerang allows users to clear their inbox messages temporarily and they set the date and time at which these messages will return. This is an amazingly simple way to turn all of your messages into individual notes that remind you of something important in a certain moment. This app also allows users to write their messages in advance and set the date and time of when they will be automatically sent to someone.

This is how communication can have a regular flow, even if your team members are on different schedules and they can send important messages when needed, without the risk of forgetting; instead they can simply update others once they finish a task and schedule the message to be delivered at the appropriate time.

10. UberConference

UberConference is a simple app that allows you to set up conference calls without any issues. There are no limitations to how many conference calls you can create, but it is limited to 10 participants at the same time. Additionally, this tool has in-call recording and you can go through these recordings later to see what happened during the call. This is a well-organized app for distant conference calls, and your employees can even message each other privately during a call, without the other party knowing about it.

There you have it, a list of 10 apps that can help you organize your team much better and improve their productivity. Bear in mind that you cannot make them use all of them, but instead, you should talk with your team and see what apps they think could be useful in helping them improve productivity.

Author : Vladimir Zivanovic

Source : http://www.lifehack.org/465441/10-productivity-apps-that-will-skyrocket-your-teams-performance

Categorized in Business Research

With millions of apps in the Play Store, searching for the best Android apps is daunting. Whether you need a great weather app or a new browser, there are always dozens available. Here at AndroidPIT, we’ve spent hours curating the top Android apps for every purpose, and compiled only the best of them into one list. Here are the best Android apps of 2017.

    Best messenger apps for Android

    Studies have shown that smartphone users message each other back and forth much more than they make calls. Users need a good messenger app. It's a big choice, so here are two of our favorites.


    WhatsApp, the ubiquitous chat app, has been installed on over one billion smartphones. And it's always improving user experience, adding new features and becoming more secure. What makes it number one? Everyone uses it, simple as that. If you already use WhatsApp, then you should check out our favorite 


    No messaging app comes close to the number of users WhatsApp has, but there are some great alternatives out there. Telegram is one of them. The free app has end-to-end encryption, does group chats and is a pioneer of chatbots. Unlike some other messengers, you can use it on multiple devices. Read our full review of Telegram.

    telegram contacts en

    Best file manager apps for Android

    Solid Explorer

    In light of the turn ES File Explorer has taken, we've tested out a few alternatives in search of a replacement. One app we've settled on is Solid Explorer. It's feature-rich and highly accessible thanks to a crisp Material Design UI. It also houses a very handy double-panel display that lets you navigate to two separate folders and drag a file across from one to the other. Integration with cloud services like Google Drive, Dropbox and OneDrive, as well as FTP servers, make it a formidable all-in-one solution for managing your files.

    Some of its other features include hidden folders, ZIP and RAR archive extraction, and customization through icons, color schemes and themes. The app is free to try out for two weeks, and then you have the option to pay $2, so you've nothing to lose by trying it out and seeing what you think.

    AndroidPIT best file explorers solid explorer 1

    Amaze File Manager

    The Amaze File Manager is free and easy it use. It has all the basic features you'd expect: quick access to files, deleting, copying, moving, etc. Unfortunately, you can't access data on your MicroSD card through the drop down menu, you must use the file tree. Amaze doesn't support cloud storage.

    When looking in individual folders, you can toggle between list and table view. Amaze can create thumbnails for many file formats, but not for PDFs.

    Best keyboard apps for Android


    This keyboard is one of the best for fast, accurate typing and it’s our new company favorite. Many of us have adopted Fleksy because it’s big, it’s clever and once you use it for a couple of hours, you realize how useful some of the smaller details are.

    For example, most keyboards use a "press and hold delete key" gesture to delete words, Fleksy uses a super-quick backward swipe. Be sure check out some of the extensions like invisible keyboard too — it works surprisingly well. Download it from the Play Store for free now. 

    androidpit fleksy keyboard 1


    Whoever is looking for a very special virtual keyboard for Android will find one here. SwiftKey works wonderfully with tablets, and if you simply want a good Android keyboard, it offers intuitive operation, very good spell check and word recognition.

    Best weather apps for Android


    There are plenty of weather apps available that are more accurate and better looking than the ones that come pre-installed on your Android device. MORECAST is our current favorite weather app here at AndroidPIT because it has one of the best-looking interfaces, with a clear and sensible layout. It's also one of the most advanced apps of its kind, featuring such options as side-by-side weather comparisons for two cities, and accurate weather information for a particular route or journey. MORECAST is the right way to make a smartphone weather app, and best of all, it's free. 

    MORECAST is our current favorite weather app here at AndroidPIT because it has one of the best-looking interfaces, with a clear and sensible layout. It's also one of the most advanced apps of its kind, featuring such options as side-by-side weather comparisons for two cities, and accurate weather information for a particular route or journey. MORECAST is the right way to make a smartphone weather app, and best of all, it's free. 

    androidpit weather app 1

    Best GPS and navigation apps for Android

    HERE Maps

    Apart from the obvious Google Maps, this is one of the very best. HERE is Nokia's own map app, which it used on its devices once upon a time. It provides everything you'd expect, including turn-by-turn navigation, search and satellite imagery, but the main draw is its offline feature. You can download maps of entire countries and use them almost exactly as you would online, without wasting precious MBs.

    This is really an indispensable app if you travel a lot or frequently find your data usage going over the limit. The only downside is that you have to register to download maps, but it's totally free, and once you've done it, you can go nuts and download the world.

    androidpit maps for names 1

    Best image-editing apps for Android


    PhotoDirector is the whole package. It has everything you could possibly need to edit your photos. The tools range from simple text bubbles and filters, to more complex things such as HSL and curves, and they're all heavily adjustable, helping you get the best out of your photos. It's for messing around on and seeing what you end up with.

    The app is developed by CyberLink, a large Taiwanese multimedia software company, so they have the money to splash on an app, and it shows. Highly recommended for novices and pros-on-the-go alike.

    androidpit best apps photodirector 1

    Best apps for music, movies and TV

    Watching TV and movies

    Hulu is an excellent app for watching movies and TV shows on Android. It's a free service that relies on ads, but there are some great shows available. You need to pay a subscription fee to access all of the content, but there is a range of excellent shows available without subscription, including classic US comedies such as Family Guy, Seinfeld and South Park.

    It's currently restricted to the US, but hopefully we'll see Hulu appearing in more territories soon.  

    androidpit hulu sony xperia z3 compact 2

    Downloading free music

    Google Play Music is our favorite app for downloading free music right now. Though there are many music download apps available in the Play Store, they are often quickly removed because of their copyright-impinging functionality. Google Play Music provides you with a totally legit, ever-changing list of free tracks from major artists to download.

    Spotify has an excellent paid subscription service, and SoundCloud has a multitude of tracks readily available to stream, but for actually downloading tracks to your phone, Google Play Music is as good as you can get. Alternatively, head to the link below for some less common free music downloading apps. 


    androidpit google play music sony xperia z3 compact

    Best music player

    The Walkman and the iPod are as good as dead, because our smartphones have taken over as powerful music players. While the default music apps on your Android device probably do a fine job, if you want to crank up the bass or other aspects of your music, you'll need something more.

    One of the best music player apps for Android is Poweramp. It’s a great way to enjoy your favorite music, with a ton of options and support for almost any type of file. You can’t go wrong with Poweramp.


    AndroidPIT music apps poweramp

    Best productivity apps for Android

    Password manager

    Manually typing passwords takes a lot of time and remembering them all is difficult. Everybody has forgotten a password or two at some point in their lives. Enter Dashlane, the app which saves all of them so you can easily copy and paste these into online forms when necessary.

    A common concern with password manager apps is whether you can trust their security service. Dashlane uses encrypted codes and regularly monitors them to ensure you have peace of mind.

    What's more, Dashlane streamlines and secures other types of data used in online forms, like credit card information. You can save financial details and quickly copy them onto your online shopping portal of choice. And it automatically saves the receipts of all your purchases so you can track your spending. 


    AndroidPIT best productivity apps 1

    Best cloud storage app

    Obviously, the whole Google Apps suite is essential to office productivity. And, cloud storage is so commonplace now that its name doesn't sound quite as mystical and ethereal as it did a few years ago. That doesn't make it any less useful, as storing your personal data online is - for the most part - much safer than keeping it on a fragile old hard drive.

    We're prepared to accept accusations of bias here, as our favorite cloud storage app is Google Drive. It's baked into most Android devices, Google is always giving extra GBs of storage space away for free, and it's synced up with the handy Google Docs office suite. It's the undisputed champ.


    androidpit drive docs material design

    Best security/antivirus apps for Android

    Mobile Security & Antivirus from Avast

    Android security is a contentious subject and arguments about the safety of the system crop up frequently. If you are in the market for an antivirus app, our current favorite is Mobile Security & Antivirus from Avast.

    Mobile Security & Antivirus keeps you safe from malware threats with its excellent virus detection software, which can search through your browser history, microSD card, and internal storage space. What's more, it employs anti-theft features such as location tracking and remote data wipe, which work even if your device is not currently in your possession. 

    As far as free mobile security is concerned, Avast's app is about as comprehensive as it gets. 


    AndroidPIT androidpit avast antivirus 1

    Best apps for personalizing your Android

    Action Launcher 3

    Launchers offer a simple way to customize the look and feel of your Android phone. They often combine new icons, a new app drawer layout, a new homescreen and new wallpaper to make your device fit a certain style or theme.

    You have to try them out to appreciate how fun they can be and the one we recommend right now is Action Launcher 3. This is an excellent introduction to launchers because it provides clear and intuitive interface changes without adding so many that it becomes off-putting.

    With Action Launcher 3 you can perform simple tweaks such as changing the app drawer layout, changing app icons, and even altering the way you use your homescreen folders. It offers genuinely useful interface improvements and it's free; download it from the link below.

      androidpit action launcher 3 galaxy s4

    Nova Launcher

    iOS is a fierce rival to Android and offers a range of great apps and features, but it doesn't offer everything that Android does. Nova Launcher is one of our favorite Android-exclusive apps because, in many ways, it underlines what is so great about Android.

    Nova is an alternative launcher compatible with Android 4.1 onward. It lets you customize the entire look and feel of your operating system, from changes to font size, to the number of apps that can appear on the lock screen, to the way in which your app drawer scrolls. Nova Launcher is a prime example of how Android can be molded to suit individual tastes and preferences, in a way that iOS cannot.

    If you wish you could make a few simple changes to your current interface, then give the free version of Nova a try. Nova even lets you adopt the look of any other phone - Galaxy, Xperia, HTC, LG, even iOS if that's your thing.

    Next Lock Screen

    Lock screen apps are awesome - you can do things on your smartphone or tablet without even having to unlock it. From checking notifications, calendar reminders, music controls, missed calls, Quick Settings and more, Next Lock Screen lets you take control of your locked phone. Next will even suggest apps based on your location.

    androidpit next lock screen

    Author: Eric Herrmann
    Source: https://www.androidpit.com/best-android-apps

    Categorized in Internet Technology


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